63ft General Service Pinnace Mk.1 & Mk.2

With the ageing 60ft. Pinnaces due for replacement, ther designers Groves & Gutteridge were tasked with the design for a new boat. The new boats were 3ft longer, and 1ft wider than their predecessors with full height alloy wheelhouses, but they still retained the long cargo hold typical of the type, serviced by a hydraulic Hyland winch with a lifting capacity of 33cwt. Although not having the same 'Cabin Cruiser' looks as the 60 footers, the new boats soon endeared themselves to their crews. They were superb sea boats and the Rolls Royce power plants with Blocktube controls coupled with Mathway Gearboxes endowed them with excellent handling characteristics, but like most hard chine craft, they were tricky in a following sea, and always lay rolling, beam on when hove to. One vessel, 1381 carried the prefix 'E' for a short time, when she experimented with Thornycroft Gearboxes, after the trials the letter was deleted.

The new Pinnaces were the true workhorses of the Branch, often making long coastal passages when carrying out Aicrew Training, Torpedo Recovery, Moorings Inspection, and any other job that they were tasked with. In later years they were also seconded to Target Towing, and this meant them being fitted with 'Yaggi Aerials'. They were comfortable craft to live aboard with a four berth Foc'sle, Galley, Crews W.C., Skippers two berth cabin and W.C., this along with blown air heating made them well liked by their crews. Initially they were fitted with D/F Loops easily identified by the torpedo shaped enclosures mounted atop the wheelhouse. By the early 1960s all had been retro-fitted with Radar and in most cases these were the Decca 303 sets.

Another 'mod' was the fitting of MS.9 inflatable dinghies, normally stowed against the wheelhouse extension on the port side. On some boats they were stowed on deck in front of the superstructure where the Crash Kit was originally stowed before being relegated to the hold. This class of Pinnace also carried Guardrails. Those round the foc'sle deck were two wire, whereas those round the aft deck were a single wire and could be folded down when recovering weapons.

Only one Pinnace was lost whilst in service. 1386 capsized at the entrance to Amble harbour on the 29th September 1969, tragically with the loss of three of her crew. Others, due to hard work (or mishap) sustained varying degrees of damage, but were repaired and returned to duty. After the closure of the Branch, 1374 and 1392 continued doing the same RAF tasks for their new civilian contractors, being finally sold off in 2003 with the former finding a final berth at the RAF Museum, Hendon.